Defender thrilled after making his return to fitness
Mark Phillips was delighted to be back in the thick of the action on Monday as Blues drew 1-1 with Fleetwood Town.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played since that memorable evening at Roots Hall against Leyton Orient and is looking forward to playing a key role in Blues final games of the season, as the club look to sneak into the play-offs.
“It’s been a while!” Phillips said, “It’s been frustrating sitting on the sidelines for me but I’m just delighted to be back playing. To get the full 90 minutes under my belt is really pleasing from my point of view.
“The injury is feeling good, only very slight niggles here and there but I’m fit now and have recovered well. The broken toe has healed nicely. I loved playing for the full 90 minutes as I haven’t played in a month.
“I’ve trained since last Thursday. I’ve had a good few days just trying to work on my fitness after a few weeks out and it’s fantastic to be back with the lads. I found out yesterday that I’d be in the team which was a big bonus. I’ll be playing when we have a number of important games to look forward to.”
Blues drew 1-1 with Fleetwood, in Phil Brown’s second game in charge and although Phillips admits his disappointment, he also feels there were positives to take.
He added: “It was a really frustrating game. As a defender, I can only do my job; stopping shots, getting blocks in, winning headers and making sure that we don’t concede goals. I didn’t think we played with enough pace or urgency. It changed a bit in the second half as we upped the temp and got at them a bit more.
“It was a great save from the penalty and he made another great save at the end of the game. We maybe lost a bit of energy at the end of the game to allow their player to take the shot on.
“We got the equaliser a little bit too late. We still had some late chances though. At the end, if the ball had fallen a couple of inches to the right then maybe one of us would have connected and the fortunes could have changed for us a little bit. It’s just a little bit frustrating that we didn’t get the win but we’re still unbeaten under the new gaffer.
“Although we’ve only got two draws over Easter, we’ve showed good glimpses and played very well at Bradford.
“I didn’t feel too bad out there. However, for the last 15 minutes I was a bit leggy and a little bit rusty. The match sharpness will come and I’m working hard in training to make sure I reach those levels as soon as possible.
Phillips is hoping that the next game, the big JPT Final at Wembley, will be a chance for the club to bring silverware to Roots Hall and push on for the final League 2 games of the season.
“Next week is going to be a big occasion for the club. The next six days will be big for us. We’ll have almost another week with the new gaffer and hopefully continue to take on his new ideas.
“We can pick up the momentum from the Wembley game and take it into the next five league games after Sunday.”